Who says women can not code? Who says girls are not meant for the hardcore programming courses? All those stereotypes against women in technology will long be gone if forums like Girl Geek Kampala keep rising up to do an amazing job at showing that it can be done.
Girl Geek Kampala is an innitiative that seeks to create a community that promotes and celebrates Women in the Technology field by infusing entrepreneurship and programming skills into girls passionate about IT. It is practical when it comes to Girl Geeks. A lot of smart young girls at Universities have come out of University with good grades, and having the ability to program but they do not think beyond their very best program. With the education system that instills a more theoratical way of thinking and dealing with problems, it is always hard for these smart girls to come out and be relevant in a tough world that will demand real world solutions.
That is where Girl Geek comes in, they help take up these women and girls who are passionate about computing and IT and they build a platform that helps them build skills that they can use in the real world whilst mentoring and coaching them to learn to code in a specific language while taking on real projects. I think that is the best sustainable approach. No matter how beautiful your code is, or runs, at the end of the day the girls need to think like enterpreneurs, how do you then take that code to build a program that will be used in a real world setting and make some money?
Saturday, 19th January 2013 – Girl Geek Kampala was part of the wider celebration of RailsGirls and more than 50 girls showed up to learn and experience coding using Ruby in Rails, what was so cool about the program is that they had mentors and coaches that help these girls realise why they need to code in Ruby and what opportunities lie a head, both in terms of getting jobs and also thinking beyond getting jobs but building programs that can then be used in the real world setting.
RailsGirls Kampala started on a friday with an installation party where the girls had a chance to dig in and have a hands on experience setting up Ruby on their machines, and also interructing with their mentors and coaches to get to know more about the language. Day two was still a hands- on beginners introduction to Ruby.
ThoughtWorks was the main sponsor of the event. Thoughtworks is a global IT consultancy that delivers custom applications and provides no-nonsense consulting – they help organizations become agile. The event was hosted by Outbox hub which is a space for collaboration that supports web and mobile developers develop their ideas and turn them into viable businesses.
What ThoughtWorks wants to do is to keep supporting innitiatives like this one prepared by Girl Geek Kampala – they want to be able to follow up the progress of these ladies that showed up for the first RailsGirls event and see how they can develop them further to enhance their career.
Girl Geek is dedicated to building real technical women who are sought after in the industry. Girl Geek is testament that time for feeling sorry for ourselves as women in technology is over, now is the time to get ‘dirty’ and show what we can deliver. All the girls that showed up for the event showed such great hunger for coding and they wanted to be better. Moving forward part of Girl Geek’s long term strategy is to arrange more seminars that will build the skills that the girls obtained into an intermediate and later advanced RailsGirls events and more.
Once these ladies are at a stage of fully understanding how Ruby works, they will be able to build their own projects running on ruby and also start collaborating and helping in other already existing projects that have a social cause and are already built on Rails. One of such projects where they can apply Rails skills in a good cause, is this site Skid, a Rails site designed to add small modules to help children with mental challenges learn and play – It is built and maintained by my programmer friend who is passionate about Ruby in Rails.
A huge shoutout to Girl Geek Kampala, Thoughtworks and Outbox for organising an event that really did transform the future of women in technology and their ability to code and be good at it.
Looking forward to more geek sessions with Girl Geek Kampala.